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05/25/2020

Quick-Snap Review: Jordan Love


The Green Bay Packers traded up in the first round to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. The cost was a fourth-round pick. Here’s a quick analysis:

PROS

1) Love has the physical traits that get quarterbacks drafted in the top-10. He has size (6-4, 225), speed (4.7), and a rocket for a right arm. He stands strong in the pocket and can sidestep the rush, brush off defenders and make difficult, off-balance throws. When he’s on, there aren’t many quarterbacks that are more fun and exciting to watch.

2) While Love will need at least a year or two before he’s ready to start in the NFL, he should be an immediate upgrade over current backup and former undrafted free agent Tim Boyle. The Packers had almost no chance to win games without Aaron Rodgers in recent seasons; they might actually have a chance now.

3) If GM Brian Gutekunst is right in his assessment of Love, the Packers have found their quarterback of the future. It’s long been believed by GMs that the worst time to find a QB is when you desperately need a QB.


CONS

1) Love won’t make the Packers better next season. He can’t catch passes, block blitzing outside linebackers, tackle running backs at the point of attack, or cover tight ends over the middle of the field. Simply put, he won’t help the Packers take that next step from the NFC championship game to the Super Bowl.

2) Love was the fourth quarterback taken in the first round, and history hasn’t been kind to other fourth choices this century. Rex Grossman (2003), Christian Ponder (2011), and Brandon Weeden (2012) all disappointed to varying degrees, and Josh Rosen (2018) might be on his way to joining them. It’s a small sample size, but it suggests that there are rarely four QBs worth taking in the first round. In fact, there are rarely three.

3) While Love can be fun and exciting to watch when he’s on, he’s laborious and infuriating to watch when he’s not. After a terrific sophomore season, he regressed as a junior. While it’s true his supporting cast was weaker, many of his 17 interceptions had nothing to do with his offensive line or his receivers. He simply made a lot of bad decisions and bad throws. Here’s just one of the numerous examples I saw on tape.

 

EARLY PREDICTION

I want to see Love in person before I render a final opinion about his future, but I’ve made it clear the past few weeks that I’m not a big fan. He reminds me too much of DeShon Kizer, whom Gutekunst wanted to draft in 2017 and then traded for in 2018. I also see a lot of Jameis Winston (Ex-Bucs) and Josh Allen (Bills) when I watch his tape. While my initial reaction on social media was overly emotional, I do believe what I opined on Facebook a few minutes after the choice was made. To paraphrase, I wrote that in five years, Packers fans would look back at today as the beginning of the end of Gutekunst’s career in Green Bay.

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11 Responses “Quick-Snap Review: Jordan Love”

  1. Cocoman
    04/24/2020 at 10:23 am

    I am torn about this pick. On one hand, I think they should have gotten help for Rodgers and this is a wasted opportunity at a time when GB’s window is tightening. On the other hand, this is the kind of forward thinking move that keeps franchises viable for the long term and I do like that Gutey’s aggressiveness.

    As to the player, I have no idea about him. He seems like a reasonable pick at this spot, my objection is to the decision making and not the player. I really hope he’s good.

    In the end, I still don’t like this pick and I am upset about the lost opportunity but I hope that I am wrong and Love is worth it. I agree with you that this will go a long way to determine Gutey’s legacy.

  2. Packer in Spain
    04/24/2020 at 10:45 am

    What I see from this pick is that his potential is really high based on his physical attributes and the feedback of many scouts.

    I get that he is not the solution to any of this teams short-term needs but GB has the luxury to have a raw project in his hands who can learn for at least 3 years from one of the greatest ever. If GB had waited 3 years to draft a heir he would not have had the opportunity to learn for that long (time that Aaron had when he started).

  3. Tom Moshier
    04/24/2020 at 12:00 pm

    This wasn’t all Brian Gutekunst. Matt LaFleur wanted Jordan Love in the worst way. There’s no doubt he’s extremely talented. And the DeShone Kizer comparisons are legitimate. Let’s not kid ourselves here. The 26th pick is far closer to a 2nd round prospect than it is a blue chip prospect. And we certainly have enough late round picks to get back in the 4th round if Gutekunst so desires. The value was there. The Ravens traded up in the bottom of the first to get Lamar Jackson. The Chiefs traded up to get Mahomes. Both had established veterans. Certainly not of Rodgers caliber. Love isn’t close to being ready. He doesn’t have to be. Remember 38 yr old Big Ben blew out his elbow last year and the Steelers had nothing behind him and missed the playoffs because of it. We know all too well what that’s like. We had to endure 10 starts with Brett Hundley in 2017.
    The draft isn’t over. You can draft for the future and draft for the present in the same draft.. Both can be true. We can still get a WR in the 2nd round. Since that seems to be what everyone wants. The Green Bay Packers are bigger than Aaron Rodgers, bigger than Brett Favre, even bigger that Bart Starr. I’ve been a packer fan since 1972. The year after Starr retired. And save for Lynn Dickey, we went 20 yrs without a legitimate starting NFL QB until Favre came along and then Rodgers. Even now, more than ever, it’s all about the QB. If you’ve got one you’ve always got a chance. Never heard them say that about a LB or OT or even a WR. Let’s just take a deep breath and see what we have here with Jordan Love before we tar and feather Brian Gutekunst.

  4. Michael Rodney
    04/24/2020 at 12:26 pm

    I’ve rarely been wrong about a QB, but we’ll see.

  5. NP40
    04/24/2020 at 5:29 pm

    Gutekunst’s last two 1st rd picks cant even get on the field. Complete GM incompetence, especially with a HOF QB with a few yrs remaining.

    If he had gotten a true #2 in FA you could make a case but….Rodgers is locked in for at least 3 yrs, probably 4. Then Love is on a 5th yr option and he’s never seen the field. Cannot believe they did this without reworking Rodgers contract first. It’s nuts.

    How come Belichick never worried about the future with Brady ? Oh that’s right, they were busy winning SB’s while THEY ACTUALLY HAD A HOF QB!

  6. NP40
    04/24/2020 at 6:49 pm

    The other major issue with this pick is what if Rodgers is still performing well 3 or 4 years from now ala Brees or Brady at a similar age ? Cut bait with Rodgers who might have 2 or 3 yrs left for a guy you’ve never seen in live game action for an extended period ? Way, way too early to be worrying about QB 4 or 5 yrs. Down the road. We were just in the NFL title game. Our opponent got better, we got worse.

  7. Tom Moshier
    04/25/2020 at 11:06 am

    Actually Bill Belichick was ready to move on from Tom Brady with Jimmy Garopolo several years ago. It was Robert Kraft that said no. It’s why Garopolo was traded to the 49ers and not Brady. And now their future is Jason Stidham. Good luck with that.

    Alexander and Savage are both starters. Gary is not. Playing behind the Smiths.

    You say if Rodgers is still performing well in 3-4 years….Aaron Rodgers, while still very good, has not played up to his standard since the broken collar bone several years ago. And at 36, QB’s don’t get better, they decline. Payton Manning was awful his last year in Denver. While he did win a super bowl in Denver. John Elway has spent the last 5 years looking for a franchise QB and the Broncos have been terrible.

    You say if he had gotten a true #2. I assume you mean WR. Ok, you’ve got 5 core players that are FA next year. Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark, Kevin King, Linsley, and Aaron Jones. You cannot sign them all. Two maybe three tops. And if you’d have signed a WR this year then who on that list do you want to lose? Clark? King? This is why we didn’t sign Bulaga. Because if we did then there’s no money for Bakhtiari next year. Everything has a cause and effect.

    Here’s a fun fact. We went 4-0 without Davante Adams for a month last year. Beating the likes of KC and Dallas. Both on the road. Why? Because Rodgers had to actually stick to the game plan. Throw to his check downs. Throw screens to his RB. You know, actually run LaFleur offense. The very first game Adams was back we lost to the Chargers. Because Rodgers was back forcing everything to Davante Adams because he’s the only receiver he “trusts” and every DC coordinator in the league knows it.

    I feel your frustration. This may not work. This was going to have to happen sooner or later. Franchise QB‘s don’t grow on trees. You have to take them when you can. Gutekunst and LaFleur better be right.

  8. Michael Rodney
    04/27/2020 at 5:12 pm

    To be fair, I think they beat KC because Mahomes and six other key starters didn’t play.

  9. Tom Moshier
    04/27/2020 at 6:12 pm

    Perhaps, but did all those games we lost with Brett Hundley as QB count any less because 12 was out with a broken collar bone? I’m certainly not going to apologize for it. That’s life in the NFL.

  10. RW
    05/03/2020 at 10:42 am

    Although I started watching Packers games in 1960 I’ve been a die hard fan only since 1972. I was spoiled by Lombardi era eye opening years being only a young kid. As a result the 20 + yr draught and failures of one truly great, winning QB, Bart Starr, I was tutned off for too many years. I started liking other teams like the Saints and Redskins. But chose SanDiego and the Raiders to be my winners. Bottom line, lets hope the NFL has gotten away from that inherent failure of allowing any one team to fail for extended seasons. ALA, Bills . Even when winning still considered losers. 5 super bowls in 5 yrs but lost them all!

  11. RW
    05/03/2020 at 11:02 am

    BTW. I did become a real hard core pack fan again when Majik got us fired up then Favre stepped in and never looked back, literally. Go Pack…

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About Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for close to 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2006. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.